How to Get Started with SQL Server


SQL Server is one of the most powerful data platforms in the world. It is is Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) in which you can store, organize and process your data.

SQL Server provides a wide range of technologies which can help you organize your data (structured, semi-structure or even unstructured) and transform them from raw data into valuable knowledge.

To get started with SQL Server you just need two things:

  • SQL Server Database Engine
  • SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS – client tool)

For installing SQL Server Database Engine, you can just download and install SQL Server 2016 SP1 Express edition which is free.

After installing SQL Server 2016 SP1 Express Edition you will need a way to connect to the database engine in order to work.  For doing that, you just need to download and install SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), which is also free.

With SQL Server Management Studio you can do just about anything. You can create databases, tables, functions, views, stored procedures and other database objects using the GUI or with T-SQL code.

Here’s a screenshot of SQL Server Management studio where I’m in the process of creating a new database named “TestDB“:



And here’s a screenshot where I’m creating a new table in the “TestDB” database:


The above should get you started!

However, if you are looking for a complete guide on how to get started with SQL Server, I have created a 2-hour online course which can definitely help you.

See below for more info!

SQL Server Fundamentals - Online Course by Artemakis Artemiou

SQL Server Fundamentals (SQL Database for Beginners)

Learn how to install and get started with SQL Server database, and how to use SSMS and Azure Data Studio for working with databases!

Enroll on Udemy

Enroll on Skillshare



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Recommended eBooks on SQL Server:

Tuning SQL Server: eBook by SQL Server MVP Artemakis Artemiou
Tuning SQL Server: eBook by SQL Server MVP Artemakis Artemiou
Administering SQL Server: eBook by SQL Server MVP Artemakis Artemiou
Administering SQL Server: eBook by SQL Server MVP Artemakis Artemiou









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About Artemakis Artemiou 33 Articles
Artemakis Artemiou is a Senior SQL Server and Software Architect, Author, and a former Microsoft Data Platform MVP (2009-2018). He has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry in various roles. Artemakis is the founder of SQLNetHub and Artemakis is the creator of the well-known software tools Snippets Generator and DBA Security Advisor. Also, he is the author of many eBooks on SQL Server. Artemakis currently serves as the President of the Cyprus .NET User Group (CDNUG) and the International .NET Association Country Leader for Cyprus (INETA). Artemakis's official website can be found at